Upon their release of Mo Ali from custody early this morning, authorities at the Liberia National Police (LNP) went to great lengths to justify the imprisonment of the Unity Party Secretary-General, despite being ordered by the Minister of Justice to halt the imprisonment.
According to the police, contrary to run, they received the Minister of Justice order by 4 am this morning, and not yesterday, as reported in the public.
“This is an institution we are running and we can in no way disrespect the Justice Minister but, again, the Justice Minister’s instruction to us cannot be in the media before reaching out to us. This is why we acted at the time we did. It was at that time we received his instruction through our boss, Col. Patrick Sudue, and we acted accordingly,” said Prince B. Mulbah, 103, during a radio interview on Truth FM early this morning.
He added: “Speaking to the media before speaking to us, I don’t know whether that is the right thing to do but the Justice Minister is a seasoned and a well-respected lawyer in this Republic. Being a Justice Minister, it takes one to be of legal mind, it takes one to be well-grounded in the legal profession and he controls the Police.”
“So, whatever medium he chooses to channel his information, I don’t know, but what I do know is that he spoke with the Inspector General, our boss, and he instructed us to release Mo Ali,” Mulbah noted.
Mulbah further that upon receiving Cllr. Musa Dean, who happens to be the Minister of Justice order, at 4 am today, they immediately released Ali from prison and had him turned over to his lawyer when daylight became clear.
The police yesterday arrested, jailed, and charged Mo (Mohammed) Ali for “arson, terroristic threats, and criminal attempt to murder,” about two weeks after the home of Justice Joseph Nagbe and the headquarters of the National Elections Commission was attacked by unknown actors, using petrol bombs.
The attacks, the police believe, were masterminded by Ali after they found two Facebook posts authored by him, which the police argued threatens Justice Nagbe and the headquarters of the electoral body. Ahead of his arrest, Ali had gone to the police headquarters to face additional questioning two days after his lawyer requested time for further consultation with their client.
But the Cllr. Dean, having learned of Ali’s arrest and imprisonment, mandated the police Inspector General to not just release the UP Secretary-General but to also produce the proper evidence to support their charges against him. According to the Minister, he gave the mandate long before the press got wind of it.
“My orders were clearly communicated to the Inspector General of Police in a telephone conversation and to Prince Mulbah, head of the Investigation Panel, in person, in the presence of the the Solicitor General onThursday, March 25, 2021, hours before the newspaper publication,” the Minister told the Daily Observer. “The Inspector General of Police was out of Monrovia at the time, travelling with the President.”
According to Minister Dean, his decision to order the release of Ali was inconsistent with section 22.2 (b) of the New Executive Law, which requires the Minister of Justice to “institute all legal proceedings necessary for law enforcement.”
“The Minister of Justice has, today, March 25, 2021, called on the Liberia National Police to produce the proper evidence to support charges levied against Mo Ali,” the Justice Minister Dean told the Daily Observer. “Ali is reportedly charged with terrorism, Criminal Attempt to Commit Murder, Arson and Terrorist Threat. Until the evidence, when produced, is reviewed and a determination made by the Attorney General, the LNP is ordered to release Ali.”
Cllr. Dean further that, “as Chief Prosecutor of the Republic of Liberia, I want to see the evidence for which Ali is being charged.”
On March 1, 2021, Ali wrote on his Facebook page, “Dear National Elections Commission (NEC), we understand the ploy. But try it and you will see what’s gonna be the result.” Again, on March 4, 2021, Ali posted saying “I don’t believe in the integrity of the Supreme Court. Most of the Justices have been corrupted. Justice Nagbe is a hard core tribalist.”
Although it is yet unclear why the Police IG downplayed the Justice Minister’s order, it is reported that he did so based on the order of some close associates of President George Manneh Weah or the President himself.
The Police Spokesman, H. Moses Carter, furthered said yesterday in the midst of Cllr. Dean’s order that “Mo Ali is still in our custody,” and declined any knowledge of the Justice Minister’s order to release the suspect. Carter added that the UP Secretary-General Ali is being charged under section 10.1 of the criminal procedure law and the penal code of Liberia and arson under section 15.1 which states criminal mischief.
Meanwhile, Mulbah, who is the fourth man in command argued that the release of Ali is not the result of a threat for a mass protest from the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), rather Minister Dean’s order.
He noted further that the Police is not in conflict with any politician or a political party, but protecting lives and properties, as well as, maintain the peace by ensuring the laws of the country are upheld cannot be compromised.
“The Attorney General is the chief prosecuting attorney of the Republic and we owe him respect in accordance with the law. It is his right to decide whether to go to court with a case but in this one, he said the time was not ripe,” Mulbah continued.
“He was released unconditionally to his lawyers. He is now with his lawyers and that is what I can say so far now,” Mulbah added.
Earlier, Ali has clarified that his post alluding to a ploy against the failure of the electoral body to certificate Lofa County Senator-Elect Brownie J. Samukai, was meant to be carried out through legal means.
“My post was simply alluding to the fact that we will ensure the NEC will face the full legal consequences should they implement a strategy intended to deny the certification of Mr. Samukai, thereby denying the people of Lofa of their choice of Senator,” Mr. Ali clarifies. “As it relates to my March 4 post referring to Associate Justice Nagbe as a hardcore tribalist, it is an opinion birthed out of the fact that: when Justice Nagbe served as Senator for Sinoe County and was involved in active politics, he clearly stated that he was in the Senate to PROTECT the Kru PEOPLE.”